Daniel Im leads the Indian Open after the opening day following a superb bogey-free 65. Im is one shot clear of his nearest challengers including Thailand’s Prom Meesawat after combining seven birdies and eleven pars at the Delhi Golf Club on Thursday.
The American is making his debut on the course this week but he showed few signs of inexperience as he posted back to back birdies early on. The 30-year-old got to the turn in 33 strokes and added several more birdies on the back nine to edge clear of Jorge Campillo, Nacho Elvira and Meesawat, who all finished the day on six-under-par.
“This is my first time so I haven’t seen the bad stuff yet,” said the 30-year-old. “It went well for me this morning. I chipped it in on my first hole and I made birdie on my second. I kept going and told myself to keep it on the fairway.” He added: “There were a couple of times where I almost walked away with a bogey but I made the up-and-down. I was just cool. I’ve heard about this golf course so many times prior to this trip.”
Meesawat was Im’s main challenger during the morning, posting five birdies in just six holes as he soared to the top of the leaderboard. A bogey on the tenth curtailed his momentum but he did manage to birdie the penultimate hole to finish one behind Im. Spanish duo Elvira and Campilo joined him in second place later in the day.
Former British Open champion Padraig Harrington is also in the mix in India after shooting a solid one-under-par 71. Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin is closer to the front runners after four late birdies helped him to post a five-under-par 67. There were four other players who matched that score including Jeung Hun Wang and home favourite Sanjay Kumar.